This is a long post. For the specific instructions on requesting your own per-user exportable archive for a given region, skip ahead to the Instructions section below.


You may have read my previous post of my Personal Changes going forward, and effective departure from virtual worlds. This is unrelated to the closure of either InWorldz or Islandz, but rather due to the combination of several factors.

Before I go, I’m trying to take care of former InWorldz users to the best of my ability. This is now specifically exportable per-user OAR archives of the regions taken at the time of the InWorldz shutdown back in July.

It was not possible to save all of the grids assets in the short time available, and without the assets inventories were of no value (they are really just directories of links to assets). However, we could save any objects rezzed in regions, including the assets referenced by those objects, so we let as many people know as possible to rez whatever they could in the few days available, and began saving OAR files of the regions.

These OAR files include many objects, items and assets protected by permissions and even full-perm items that were not licensed for export to, or use on, other grids. That said, there were many objects that users created themselves, or in small teams, and they held the Intellectual Property (IP) rights (copyright) on those items. Thus, these can be exported for their use.

InWorldz received very clear instructions from creators to not provide their creations in these per-user exportable OAR files. However, there wasn’t time to do thousands of individual archive files for each user who had content on a region, nor is it even known who would be interested in these. So a single OAR backup was done, with all referenced assets, for each region running on the grid.

A lot (weeks) of work was done coding load-time filtering to allow creator wishes to be respected and yet restore content from InWorldz, with a specific opt-in requirement for each creator (if desired). Also, because some asset references (such as textures or sounds on prims) do not have any known creator information, a full grid-wide scan of all Contents items in all prims in all regions was also performed, to try to identify the creators of each of these assets and allow them to be identified as being created by the creator of the prim, or by a user who had chosen to opt-in. In spite of this, the creators of many of the textures on prims could not be identified, and a substitute plywood texture was used. This was probably one of the larger contributing factors to Islandz not reaching the critical size needed to survive January.

Soon, with a bit more coding, that technology will be used to try to maximize the content saved in exportable OAR files. This is important to try to provide as much user content as possible while still respecting the wishes of other creators, and protecting their content from permissions-free regions elsewhere.

Islandz is Dead — Long Live InWorldz (OARs)

Without the huge workload of attempting to continue with Islandz, focus returned to the per-user exportable OAR archives from InWorldz. Since none of this content was being automatically uploaded by administrators on a new grid, but rather provided to the owners of the content for their use according to whatever license agreements they have with creators, the decision was made that textures on prims could be included in the filtered exportable OARs if the creator could not be identified. This is relatively safe because in order for the owner of a prim to place the texture, the creator of the texture would have already provided a full-perm (exportable) copy of the texture with the trust of the new user, and with or without an agreement for use.

Users who built their own objects and then texture them would have also been the original uploader of that texture in many cases, and filtering these would needlessly harm the continued use of these creations by the creator of the prims. Also, since the creator was already trusting the user to respect their license wishes, those textures can be included in an export of prims created by that second user. This means the InWorldz exportable OARs will be considerably more complete (much less plywood) than the objects that could be automatically restored by the grid administrators on the new of Islandz. However, they will still be filtered based on the recipient user’s status as owner and creator of each prim in an object, and for the creators of the Contents within each prim.

Let me try to make this point clear: again, while Islandz needed strict enforcement of explicit opt-in, exportable OARs to users can be slightly different in that, in order to put a texture on a prim, the creator had to give a copy of the texture to the new prim creator. That second user could have saved the texture outside the grid, the creator is trusting the second user to respect their license. If the export OAR filter assumes that any texture with an unknown creator cannot go out, then InWorldz is taking control of that agreement with the creator and assuming the worst, also enforcing something that the actual texture creator did not want enforced on the grid. Further, it also prevents people from keeping their own textures on their prims. It is something no other export does and filtering by creator and owner at maximum Contents depth is already very good enforcement (and likely better than ever done before anywhere else including SL). Basically, there was already an agreement in place with the texture creator and it will be respected and not overridden by the grid. It’s very subtle I know, but it’s different when you are automatically uploading content to a new grid on behalf of a user, rather than letting them choose to do so manually.

You can forget about Islandz opt-in completely; that is not relevant to the OAR filtering being done now. That was only important when regions were intended to be restored on Islandz. A “Part 2” of the original plan was to produce OAR files from InWorldz for export to other grids. That is pretty much the only part of the plan going forward. Since there will be no Islandz, these OARs are those exported versions from InWorldz, not related to Islandz in any way. They were captured back in July and it has always been said that they will be your stuff only, because they are leaving the grid.

*** Instructions for OAR Exports ***

This is not a small undertaking, and is being done for free in my spare time as part of my commitment to InWorldz users to do what I can to help them recover as much content as possible, while also trying to respect the copyright / IP of creators. If you do not follow these instructions as closely as possible, or provide false information, it is possible that you may not receive an OAR file.

You will need to provide:
1. list of regions where you had content,
2. your avatar name, and
3. any other avatars from whom you have specifically obtained permission to take their content to another grid.

Note that point 3 above is unrelated to Islandz opt-in. In fact, this entire process is unrelated to Islandz in any way. You will only be receiving the content for the InWorldz avatars in that list, but you will receive their objects as well as your own. Thus this is not something for creators to give permission to but rather for teams and partners to allow a combined archive of major projects, such as the Memory Alpha region for Star Trek role play, or projects like The Land of Lar, or for romantic partners to receive a combined region with their combined creations.

Do not specify an avatar in the list in point 3 unless you have contacted them about this and have explicit permission. That avatar will need to email the addresses below to confirm that they wish to have their objects and creations on that region included in the OAR file you will receive.

If you are a content creator of any kind and you want your content (including objects owned by you) to be included in someone else’s export OAR archive, send an email to the email addressed below indicating:
1. You give your permission to have the content in a specific region or list of regions given to another user.
2. The name of the recipient avatar to whom you are allowing to have your content from that region.
3. Whether you want things included that you have created but they own, or whether it should also include objects where you are the owner.

These OARs won’t be going to Islandz so they won’t be as heavily filtered (less plywood) but you need to provide the list of avatars who have agreed to let you take content to new grids. It is probably very short, usually members of a team, a partner, and/or a list of alts you may have built things with. It’s the best we can do to try to get your content from those regions in July to users.

Send the info above an email to: elenia.llewellyn AT and to jim AT and I’ll do my best to get an exportable OAR posted and provide a download link to the avatar requesting.

I’m sorry if this is confusing (it was even more confusing to try to come up with a workable plan here)! I’m doing my best. I hope it helps some InWorldz residents at least. I don’t really have date of completion for the remaining coding, however I hope to complete it in the next week or so get started on OAR files right away after that.